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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2011-05-25

Educational Leadership MEd

Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:



The purpose of the internship is to assist students in bridging theory and practice under the mentorship of a successful practicing administrator who serves as the supervising administrator for the intern experience.

While students will document internship experiences in each of the 10 Florida Principal Leadership Standards, customized goals will be developed based on a self assessment. These goals will be finalized during a pre-internship conference involving the graduate student, supervising administrator and the UCF Coordinator of Administrative Internships.

Basic requirements of the internship are to document approximately 200 hours of field experience prior to the beginning of the internship, and documentation of a minimum of 90 hours of field experience and 4 STAR experiences during the internship. Enrolled students also participate in three conferences with the supervising administrator and the coordinator of administrative internships. Seminars are offered during the internship that are designed to maximize practical benefit of the internship experience and to assist graduate students in transitioning from the university experience to successful candidacy for administrative positions in school districts. Detailed information on the internship is provided in A Guide to the Administrative Internship in Educational Leadership EDA 6946. After reviewing the Guide, questions should be referred to the Coordinator of Administrative Internships.

Additional Program Requirements

  • Pass all applicable sections of the Florida Educational Leadership Examination.

Independent Learning

The MEd program requires an internship. The internship is an independent learning activity that takes place in authentic settings in which students must apply, reflect on, and refine knowledge and skills acquired in the program. The internship experience gives students full control of the operational setting where they are placed (e.g., such as primary classroom teacher while being observed and mentored by a supervising teacher and UCF faculty member).


The Educational Leadership MEd program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including 30 credit hours of core courses and 6 credit hours of required administrative internship. Courses may be taken in any sequence with the exception of EDA 6946, which must be taken during the last two semesters.

The MEd program provides the theoretical and conceptual knowledge base with practical application required for the principalship and for Florida Level I Educational Leadership certification. Courses required in the program address the Florida Educational Leadership Standards and Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) competencies and indicators required by the Florida Department of Education.  Students are required to pass the FELE for graduation. An MEd in Educational Leadership or its equivalent, and successful completion of the FELE, are required by the state of Florida for Level 1 Educational Leadership certification (Certification is subject to Florida Department of Education approval).

The MEd program requires an administrative internship. The internship is an independent learning activity that takes place in a regular K-12 public school setting in which students must apply, reflect on, and refine knowledge and skills acquired in the program. For more information concerning the Educational Leadership internship, please refer to the Educational Leadership website (click on Guide to the Administrative Internship).   

MEd students in Educational Leadership will document experience with each of the Florida Principal Leadership Standards (FPLS) and Florida Educational Leadership Exam (FELE) competencies during the EDA 6946 Administrative Internship. This documentation and successful completion of the administrative internship (grade of A or B) will serve as the culminating experience required for graduation. 

Modified Leadership Core Program for Those with Graduate Degrees in Other Disciplines

If an individual holds a graduate degree with a major other than Educational Administration, Administration, Supervision or Educational Leadership, certification may be obtained through completion of an approved modified program in Educational Leadership. The UCF modified program consists of the seven core courses and Administrative Internship course of the Educational Leadership MEd degree. Request an evaluation of prior graduate course work (required for admission into the program) on the following website:

Required Courses—36 Credit Hours

Core—30 Credit Hours

The program recommends that students take these courses in the following sequence:

  • EDA 6061 Organization and Administration of Schools (3 credit hours)
  • EDA 6232 Legal Aspects of School Operation (3 credit hours)
  • EDA 6240 Educational Financial Affairs (3 credit hours)
  • EDA 6260 Educational Systems Planning and Management (3 credit hours)
  • EDA 6931 Contemporary Issues in Educational Leadership (3 credit hours)
  • EDA 6423 Data-Based Decision Making for School Educational Leaders (3 credit hours)
  • EDS 6123 Educational Supervisory Practices I (3 credit hours)
  • EDS 6130 Educational Supervisory Practices II (3 credit hours)
  • EDA 6300 Community School Administration (3 credit hours)
  • EDA 6502 Organization and Administration of Instructional Programs (3 credit hours) 

Internship—6 Credit Hours

The internship should be completed during or after the last two semesters of coursework listed above.

  • EDA 6946 Administrative Graduate Internship (6 credit hours; 2 semesters, 3 hours each of internship)

Additional Program Requirements

  • Complete the Administrative Graduate Internship with a minimum grade of B.
  • Pass all applicable sections of the Florida Educational Leadership Examination.

Equipment Fee

Students in the Educational Leadership MEd program pay a $32 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $16 per semester.

Timeline for Completion

Educational Leadership Program Goals

The following broad goals assume a constructivist perspective to program development. These goals have been identified by program faculty as appropriate broad goals to be used in building upon and extending the prior knowledge and experiences of individuals already in professional roles in schools. These goals are supported throughout the literature and under gird the several sets of state and national standards and competencies which must be considered in the preparation of students and in program development. In particular, these goals are used in the development of programs that encourage students to (a) reflect on current practice of administrators, and (b) use research and research methods along with knowledge about issues to improve practice in schools and classrooms.

Goal One: To develop knowledge and understanding of the broad, systemic, and dynamic context of education (progressively advanced understanding at the Specialist and Doctoral levels).

Goal Two: To develop a conceptual understanding of and personal competency in basic interpersonal relations.

Goal Three: To develop an awareness of and responsibility for the development and maintenance of creative, effective, and logical systems.

Goal Four: To develop a skillful and continuing interpretation of the legal, political, societal, economic and cultural climates operating on and within the educational system.

Goal Five: To develop a self-awareness of individual strengths, weaknesses, and skills in relationship to potential alternative career roles for both master's and specialist degree students and fostering a professional commitment to the field of education and the practice of administration for students in the doctoral program.

Goal Six: To develop an appreciation for (entry-level students) and a continuing concern for (advanced students) the development, utilization, and knowledgeable dissemination of research in education and administration.

Assignment of Academic Adviser 

At the time of notification of acceptance, the student will be assigned to an academic adviser. The adviser is the key individual with whom the student will work and the departmental representative who will monitor all progress toward completion of degree requirements. If the student, for some particular reason, prefers a different adviser, the program coordinator should be contacted immediately after the initial appointment. Any requests for a change of adviser, after the student has worked with a given adviser, should be directed in writing to the program coordinator for consideration.

Graduate Research

UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.

Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see their website: > Compliance.

UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: > Policies > General Graduate Policies.

College of Education Research

The Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD) is a type IV institute within the College of Education whose purpose is to support the vision and mission of the College by facilitating research activities. CERD is a support service for the College in the area of contracts and grants as well as non-funded research. College of Education faculty members are provided support in identifying funding sources, preparation of grant proposals and budgets, and submitting reports. CERD provides guidance to faculty in the area of contracts and grants administration and compliance.

In addition, CERD provides evaluation services for funded projects both within and outside the College. A staff of research assistants provides faculty with advice in designing evaluation plans for proposals and implementing evaluation plans for funded projects.


Below is a list of various institutes the College of Education supports. You may visit the following to obtain more detailed information

  • Toni Jennings Exceptional Education Institute
  • UCF Marriage and Family Research Institute
  • Institute of Exercise Physiology and Wellness
  • Institute for Law and Justice in Education
  • Program Evaluation and Educational Research Group (PEER)

Financial Support

Graduate Financials

Students with qualifying assistantships or university-wide fellowships will receive financial packages that include an assistantship or fellowship stipend, tuition remission, and health insurance. Qualifying fellowships are accompanied by tuition waivers. Qualifying assistantships include single appointments of at least .50 FTE (20 hrs/week) or two appointments of at least .25 FTE (10 hrs/week). Tuition remission is in the form of either tuition waivers or tuition payments that cover in-state (resident) tuition. Non-resident students with financial packages are not charged out-of-state tuition or the non-resident financial aid fee.

For additional information about funding for graduate school, please visit the Student Finances section of the College of Graduate Studies student website at

If you are interested in applying for loans or externally funded need-based awards, visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website at and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available January 1 each year.

Financial Support Requirements

Graduate students must meet certain requirements each term that they receive fellowships or assistantships. In brief, to receive and maintain these types of financial support packages, a student must:

  • maintain good academic standing
  • be enrolled full time

A more detailed description of the financial support requirements can be found in the Financial Information > Financial Support requirements of the current Graduate Catalog at

University Fellowships

Most university fellowships are reserved for incoming degree-seeking graduate students who plan to enroll full time. For a listing of merit-based fellowships that are offered through the UCF College of Graduate Studies, as well as a listing of various general graduate funding opportunities, see the Student Finances > Fellowships section of the College of Graduate Studies student website at

Graduate Presentation Fellowship

The College of Graduate Studies provides Graduate Presentation Fellowships for students to present their research or comparable creative activity at a professional meeting or conference. To review the award requirements and apply online, see > Graduate Presentation Fellowship.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantship appointments offer opportunities for students to engage in research, teaching, and other projects during their graduate study. These are paid appointments that promote the missions of the University. For eligibility, students must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time.

For more information concerning graduate assistantships, see the Financial Information > Graduate Assistantships section of the current Graduate Catalog at or talk to the Graduate Program Director to learn about specific eligibility and application guidelines.

Graduate Teaching

Graduate students may be appointed as graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) to carry out responsibilities as classroom teachers (instructors of record), co-teachers or classroom assistants, graders, lab assistants, or other roles directly related to classroom instruction. Mandatory training requirements must be met for a student to be hired in the position of Graduate Teaching Associate, Assistant or Grader. The training, offered by UCF’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, covers course design, learning theories, ethics, and other topics relevant to preparing GTAs for their responsibilities. See > Student Finances > GTA Information for training requirements and registration instructions.

Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must pass the SPEAK test before they will be permitted to teach as Graduate Teaching Associates (position code 9183) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (position code 9184). The SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187). Additional information including how to register for the test can be accessed through the GTA Information section of the College of Graduate Studies student website.

GTA Performance Assessments

At the completion of each semester in which a student is employed as a GTA, the student’s faculty GTA supervisor will meet with the student and complete the GTA Performance Assessment Form. These assessments are intended to facilitate and document the mentoring of graduate student teachers, promoting a review and discussion of the strengths and weaknesses in the student’s performance in preparation for future employment.

Vacation and Leave Expectations

Expectations concerning vacations, days off and leave vary greatly depending upon the assistantship type and the details of the individual circumstances. Please speak to your supervisor at the beginning of your appointment to clarify what these expectations are.

International Students

For information about the types of employment available to international students, and the requirements and restrictions based on visa type, see the International Affairs and Global Strategies' website: > Students > Employment.

Graduate Student Associations

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

Professional Development

Instructor Training and Development

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. They offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

  • GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)
    This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

  • Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
    This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

For more information: > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544.

Pathways to Success Workshops 

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit

Graduate Research Forum

The Graduate Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines. It is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – It recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. 

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see the College of Graduate Studies website


For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: > Awards.

Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at

For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic advisor. 


  • College of Graduate Studies Forms and Files
    A listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Graduate Petition Form
    Graduate students who wish to request an exception to university policy must complete this form to begin the process.
  • Traveling Scholar Form
    Required form of graduate students who would like to take advantage of resources available on another campus, but not available at UCF; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections.


Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).


The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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